It is the process and habit of human beings to seek an advantage over others. From athletes on steroids to politically connected businessmen; from subsidies and handouts, to laws and bought cops; it’s easy to see varying degrees of cheating, corruption, deception and crime all around us.
I trust this is not an epiphany. This should not be news to you. But, at the very least, we do need to be reminded in more than just the Sunday sermon context that people sin; and that it is our nature to do so.
The reason I mention all this is because an awful lot of people are willing to pay good money and make deep sacrifices to gain unfair advantage over others …but only a desperate few are willing to give anything to level the playing field.
In other words, many (and probably most) people, rich and poor alike, will do whatever they can to cheat their neighbors (tax subsidies, handouts, legal disparity) if there’s any chance they might get away with it. Only the “losers” even try to play fair.
The bottom line of this is that lots of nefariously driven folk will contribute to political campaigns, lobbying and political mischief, while almost nobody lifts a finger to oppose this. People seeking advantage will of course “invest” in political power.
Nearly nobody promotes liberty.
I was very encouraged by the outpouring of support for Dr. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. Obviously, I will cast my vote for him in Indiana’s primary because to do otherwise would be a senselessly wasted vote. And I’m hoping, of course, that Dr. Paul’s cause will not die with his candidacy. But it’s only in knowing what we face that we can stay motivated, and succeed against humanity’s overwhelming tendency to sin, and to self-destruct.
Let’s not fool ourselves about what we oppose when we promote liberty. We oppose human nature. We oppose what the Bible calls the “stiff necked and stubborn” tendency to turn from God and toward our own selfish, foolish and proud destructiveness. Nations always die just as the people who comprise them die. Humanity’s rare flowerings of civility depend upon a passionate few who do what’s right and oppose our inborn desire to screw up.
Liberty ain’t natural, but it works. It has never been easy; it has always been a never-ending fight. And, I assure you, you’ll get no thanks in this life. It’s been nothing but grief and work for me.
But do I need to remind you of the alternative? You do know, don’t you, that our default state is oppression, slavery, genocide and war?
Liberty, security, peace and prosperity can be ours. But we do have to fight for it. And never stop.